The new 19,000 dwt vessels named ‘Maersk Illinois’ and ‘Maersk Texas’ each have a combined maximum lift of 480 tonnes; they are twice the size of current multipurpose vessels under the US Flag. The ships are currently under the Marshall Islands flag and are preparing for their maiden voyages. In November they are scheduled to complete the process to bring them under the US flag.
“The Maersk-Rickmers service is designed for shippers needing US flag service and seeking the advantageous economics of large multi-purpose vessels,” said Dave Harriss, director of Ship Management and Chartering at Maersk Line.
“As part of our market analysis we heard from shippers who said they want greater flexibility from their carriers and the ability to support all their cargo requirements. We listened and the Maersk-Rickmers service is designed with our customers in mind,” he said.